Keeping the Lights On: Choosing the Best Generac Standby Generator for Your Needs

When power fails, standby generators kick in automatically to keep essential systems running. As a leader in backup power, Generac offers home and business owners reliable standby generators to fit any situation. This guide will explore Generac’s standby generator models to help you choose the right backup power solution.

We’ll compare Generac’s standout lines including the Guardian, Protector, QuietSource, and EcoGen series. Considering factors like your coverage needs, budget, and noise restrictions will ensure you select a Generac standby generator optimized for your unique requirements. With a properly sized and installed Generac unit, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your property is protected when the grid goes down.


Since 1959, Generac has engineered innovative generators for backup power during outages. Generac’s focus on performance, reliability and continuous improvement has made them a leading provider of standby power systems.

Standby generators automatically supply electricity to pre-wired circuits when utility power fails. Within seconds of detecting an outage, the generator starts up to restore power seamlessly. This prevents the disruption and potential damage of losing electricity.

Generac’s standby generators range in power from 6kW to 600kW to provide backup coverage for either partial electrical loads or complete property-wide coverage. Available for both residential and commercial settings, Generac’s diverse product lineup offers standby power solutions for any application.

We’ll dig into Generac’s core standby generator models to determine which is best suited to your needs.

The 4 Best Generac Standby Generators

Generac Guardian Series

The Guardian Series represents Generac’s premium lineup of whole home generators offering 17kW to 150kW of power. Packed with commercial-grade components, the Guardian provides complete property backup for homes and businesses with extensive electrical loads.

With aluminum enclosures, industrial engines, commercial-grade alternators and intuitive controls, Guardian units are built to withstand the most demanding standby power situations. They offer options like cellular monitoring, diesel/natural gas/propane fueling, and weather-resistant construction for ultimate capability.

Key Benefits:

  • Whole home/facility coverage up to 150kW
  • All-aluminum enclosure resists corrosion
  • True PowerTM technology prevents voltage drops
  • Mobile Link cellular monitoring
  • 5 or 10 year limited warranty

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Very large units require professional installation
  • Higher upfront cost than more basic models
  • Overkill for partial electrical loads

For homeowners and businesses needing maximum standby protection, Guardian generators provide full-property backup power even during extended outages.

Generac Protector Series

Providing an affordable alternative to the Guardian, the Protector Series delivers 7kW to 16kW of backup power for partial electrical loads at a lower cost. Ideal for protecting essential circuits, the compact Protector units utilize the proven performance and reliability Generac is known for.

Common applications include backing up HVAC systems, refrigeration, security systems, lighting circuits and more. Quiet and fuel efficient operation enables flexible placement. With basic but useful features like LED status indicators and theft deterrence, Protectors offer practical, economical standby power.

Key Benefits:

  • Lower acquisition cost than larger standby units
  • Simplified controls and status indicators
  • Quiet operation from 62-72 dBA
  • Fuel choices include natural gas or liquid propane
  • Optional cold weather package

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Not intended for whole home/facility coverage
  • More basic controls than industrial models
  • Limited capacity for large electrical loads

For essential circuit protection without the cost of full standby coverage, the Protector series provides reliable, affordable Generac performance.

Generac QuietSource Series

The defining feature of the QuietSource Series is ultra-quiet operation. With a noise rating as low as 60dB, QuietSource models allow installation nearly anywhere without noise disturbances. Available capacities from 8kW to 150kW provide whole or partial electrical coverage with minimal sound.

Utilizing a rugged steel enclosure paired with advanced acoustic engineering, QuietSources run quieter than even a typical conversation. This allows flexible placement even in noise-sensitive environments. Quiet operation coupled with Generac’s proven reliability make QuietSource generators ideal for suburban neighborhoods, urban settings and more.

Key Benefits:

  • Extremely quiet operation at just 60dB
  • Enclosures engineered for superior noise damping
  • Whole home backup capacity up to 150kW
  • Runs on natural gas or liquid propane
  • Digital LCD controller

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Premium cost over equivalent powered models
  • Large units require professional installation
  • Not as rugged as other enclosures

When low noise is a prerequisite, QuietSource generators provide the quietest standby power solution available from Generac.

Generac EcoGen Series

For environmentally focused buyers, Generac’s EcoGen series utilizes modular LP fuel cell technology for ultra-clean standby power generation. Available in 2kW increments from 6-12kW, EcoGen units achieve reliability through redundancy and scalability.

Generating electricity through a virtually silent electrochemical process, the EcoGen produces minimal emissions for an eco-friendly carbon footprint. Units consist of compact, stackable modules which can be deployed in any quantity to right-size your standby system.

Key Benefits:

  • Proprietary fuel cell technology
  • Very low noise, fumes and emissions
  • Modular and scalable capacity
  • No large fuel tank required
  • Sustainable 24/7 standby power

Potential Drawbacks:

  • Currently limited to smaller capacity systems
  • Higher initial cost per kW than conventional generators
  • Lack of full-scale track record compared to traditional engines

For sustainable-minded consumers, EcoGen fuel cell technology provides reliable standby power with minimal environmental impact.

Choosing the Right Generac Standby Generator

Choosing the ideal Generac standby generator involves several considerations:

Electrical Load – Determine the circuits and appliances you wish to power during an outage to establish your required standby capacity.

Fuel Type – Natural gas, propane and diesel are available fuel options. Each has pros and cons related to logistics and supply.

Noise Tolerance – QuietSource units minimize noise disturbance. Other Generac generators also operate quietly.

Budget – Larger permanently installed units represent a greater upfront investment but provide maximum protection.

Scalability – Modular EcoGen systems allow gradually increasing capacity over time as needs evolve.

Features – Additional capabilities like cellular monitoring, dual-fuel hookup, cold weather packages, etc. add functionality.

Placement – Outdoor pad, rooftop or enclosure for minimal noise, fumes and maximum ventilation.

Professionally sizing your unit for your exact needs ensures the optimal Generac standby generator solution.

Frequently Asked Questions About Generac Standby Generators

What are the differences between portable and standby generators?

Portable generators are designed for mobility and temporary use. Standby generators are permanently installed to automatically provide backup power.

How do standby generators work automatically?

Standby generators monitor incoming utility power. When an outage is detected, they automatically start up and transfer power to backed-up circuits typically within 10-20 seconds.

What size Generac standby generator do I need?

A dealer can accurately size your unit based on electrical load and coverage goals, but common sizes range from 8kW for partial circuits to 45kW for full home/business.

How long do Generac standby generators last?

With proper maintenance and minimal run time, Generac standby generators typically last 15-25 years or more before major overhaul or replacement is needed.

How often should you service a Generac generator?

Generac recommends scheduled maintenance and load testing every 6 months. Fuel, filters, oil and batteries should be freshened annually.

What are the benefits of natural gas vs propane vs diesel?

Natural gas eliminates fuel storage needs. Propane provides independence. Diesel enables very long runtimes. Each fuel has advantages depending on needs.

How quiet are Generac’s standby generators?

Guardian and Protector series operate at 62-72 dB. QuietSource units are uniquely quiet at just 60dB. For comparison, 50dB is a quiet conversation.

How much does Generac standby generator installation cost?

Installed costs average around $3,000 to $6,000 depending on the unit size and complexity of installation. Larger units with fuel storage cost more.

What are the benefits of a modular expandable system?

Scalable modular systems like the EcoGen allow right-sizing your initial investment and gradually adding capacity over time as needs grow.

How strictly are generators regulated for permitting and codes?

Generators must comply with electrical, fuel and emissions codes. Professional installation ensures conformity with any required permits or inspections.


Having a permanently installed standby generator brings comfort knowing your home or business has backup power protection that automatically switches on when the lights go out. Generac offers reliable solutions whether you need essential circuit coverage or full property backup.

Factors like your power requirements, budget, fuel type, and placement flexibility should guide your ideal Generac model selection. Advanced units like the QuietSource provide ultra-low noise while Guardian generators supply maximum capacity. The EcoGen’s modular architecture enables scalable growth over time.

With regular maintenance and proper installation, a Generac standby generator will provide automatic peace of mind for decades whenever grid power fails. Safeguard your property by keeping essential systems up and running with Generac’s innovative backup power solutions.

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